May 19, 2008

BBQ Tempeh with Grilled Potato Wedges

Since pretty weather has finally graced Missouri with its presence, we've been practicing the right of any rural Missourian by grilling anytime there are friends and a sunset around.  Michelle's dad brought up a grill we got as a wedding gift (two years ago this Monday!) and my dad bought us a chimney starter so we could recycle (burn) paper to light the coals.  It works (and looks) pretty cool.  Smoke billows up for about 10 minutes then the coals burst into flames, except not quite as awesome as that.  If anyone has any ideas for more eco-friendly grilling (gathering firewood, maybe?), please let us know.  
Our biggest grill setback has been how to perfect grilling potato wedges without using wasteful aluminum foil.  Direct grilling would always burn the wedges on the outside before the inside got cooked.  Turns out just coating them with oil (spray) is enough to slow down the burning and cooking.  I would have thought the opposite, but I'm no scientist.  Oh yeah, the tempeh was awesome too.  Serves 3 people and 1 grill.

BBQ Tempeh
1 square o' tempeh (8 oz)
enough broth to just cover the tempeh in a pan (we used a beefish broth)
BBQ sauce of your choice

Cut the tempeh into strips 1/4 inch strips and slap em down in a pan and just cover with broth.  Bring it to a boil and leave it for 10 minutes.  Remove from the pan and coat each side with BBQ side and toss em on the grill.  Put on your apron, and GRILL IT.  They're done when you say they're done, Grillmaster.

Grilled Potato Wedges
2 russet potatoes
garlic powder
onion powder
paprika or chili powder
any spray oil

Wash and cut the potatoes into wedges (Michelle's style is to cut the potatoes lengthwise until each wedge is 1/16th of the potato (but use your best judgement based on the size of the potato so you don't cut your fingers off)).  Spray 'em with oil and cover with garlic and onion powder being the most used, paprika or chili powder to your preference, and use salt and pepper sparingly.  Put 'em on the grill perpendicular to the  grate and cook until tender.  We didn't need to turn or flip them at all and they were generally done when the underside was browned.

May 17, 2008

Spinach Chickpea Curry Wraps

We woke up from a nap on a lovely afternoon and decided a nice lunch would be a perfect compliment to our day.  Leftover white rice and expired baby spinach were the base of our meal, and as wraps are always the perfect leftover holder, our lunch was created.  Generally, onion would have been added to this, but, unfortunately, all four of our onions were bad.  Feel free to throw in an onion after the cumin seeds and garlic are done.  Because we were using wraps, we made the filling a little creamy so it'd have a nice texture with the wrap. Pretty awesome midday meal if I do say so myself.  Serves 4 people or 1 chickpea-lovin robot.

Spinach Chickpea Curry Wraps

1 1/2 T olive oil
1/2 t cumin seeds
3 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1 can chickpeas, drained
1/2 c vegetable broth (we use the "vegan no chicken")
2 c cooked white rice (brown should be fine too)
2 1/2 c fresh (baby) spinach
1/4 c green onion diced
1/2 c peas
1 can diced tomatoes
1/2 t ground cumin
1/2 t curry powder
1 t ground coriander
spinach wraps or other wraps

Heat oil in a wok or large pan over medium heat and toss in the cumin seeds, they should be poppin'.  Stir 'em enough so they don't burn and smoke, and after about 2 minutes press that garlic like a pro.  Your kitchen should be smelling nice about now.  Add in the chickpeas and stir until they're coated with the oil, then add in the broth.  Let it come to a boil and mix in the pre-cooked rice, spinach, green onions, and peas.  Cook it until the spinach starts to wilt, then mix in the tomatoes, ground cumin, curry powder, and ground coriander.  After another minute or two serve it up on warm wraps.  

May 15, 2008

Creamy Garlic Sauce and Broccoli Pasta

Sorry to all for abandoning the blog for about a month, but I swear there's just cause.  First, it was the end of the semester.  
Nuff' said, I know, but there's more.  
I published a book with the Black Unicorn Press.  By publish, I mean we hand-bound my English Honors project, which got accepted (hooray!), obviously.  Mine's on the right (WE).
Then, as if I hadn't already convinced you, I made a six-minute movie about sexual identity in public schools to head off a presentation which nearly brought the class to tears.  They laughed, they cried, we got 15 points extra credit.  Then! to not even top it off yet, I graduated with my B.A. in English.... as the valedictorian (one of 22).  I got this sweet sash for it.  Totally worth all the hard work.  And finally, we've been going through all the dorms move-out trash to scavenge some delicious, incredibly processed foodz.  Among some the finds were frozen vegetables, a bag of apples, beer (on a dry campus), a new blanket (still in the package), enough folders and paper for the next two years, a frozen apple pie, backpacks, baskets, cheese, and a ski pole (oddly, only one).  So we've been trudging through our unhealthy eating to save the world one pop-tart at a time.  Thus our recipe creations have been a hodge-podge at best.  For example, last night we had instant mashed potatoes with frozen mixed veggies and potato chips with a mashed black bean barbecue sauce dip (actually not bad).  

But all that's over now.  Maybe.  So, hopefully we'll keep adding recipes and whatnot.  This creamy garlic sauce thing is something I've been unsuccessfully trying for awhile.  It would come out lumpy or... basically just come out lumpy.  It'd still taste good.  Just not very creamy.  I lost all my previous notes (probably to the recycling bin) and had to start anew.  I guess it was a good thing because this is what I'd been going for.  Here's the final recipe in all its creamy goodness.  
Serves almost two normal sized people or 1/4 a giant.

Creamy Garlic Butter Sauce

2 T Vegan Butter
2-4 cloves of garlic, pressed or minced 
2T nutritional yeast
1/4 c plain soymilk
dash of basil (1/4 to 1/2 t)

Melt that delicious chunk of butter in a small pan over medium heat and add your garlic in.  Let it sizzle for about a minute and  your cooking area will dazzle your nostrils with garlic awesomeness.  While that garlic is doin' its thang, mix the soymilk and nutritional yeast together with a fork and add it to the pan.  Stir the sauce until it's all homogeneous-y and whatnot.  Finally, let the sauce boil just a lil' teensy-weensy bit.  Keep on stirrin' and the sauce will thicken up a bit (about 2 minutes for us).  When you like what you see, dip in some cooked broccoli and wonder why cheese could never be this amazing.